If it seems Jonathan Edwards is showing up a lot lately, that’s because he is.

He sat in with Gypsy Tailwind on New Year’s Eve at Port City Music Hall, and has been spotted regularly on the monthly art walks in downtown Portland. On Saturday, he plays a show with his trio at One Longfellow Square.

“I love Portland, and always have,” says Edwards, who lives in Cape Elizabeth. “I used to come through here all the time on my way to Nova Scotia. I’ve always resonated with everything up here, the whole deal — the fact that it’s not shaking, not burning, not mud-sliding. The fact that you don’t have to lock your doors. I love the people here. I have a strong fan base and a lot of friends.”

Edwards was born in Minnesota, and has spent much of his career in the Northeast. Wherever he has lived, he’s kept a boat in Maine, and sails from show to show when he can.

Edwards is working with Portland engineer Jim Begley on his first studio record in 17 years. A bunch of Maine musicians are contributing — Duke Levine, Joe Walsh, Paul Sullivan, Alana MacDonald and Tom Dean — along with other friends from Boston and beyond.

“I wanted to have this be a Maine-based project,” he said. “I could have gone to New York or L.A. or Nashville, but we started this last February, almost a year ago, and have been picking away at it when we could. I took time when I could get it.”

The songs Edwards is recording for the new record are not motivated by any particular theme or train of thought. “I don’t do concept records,” he quips.

There’s a new song, “Johnny Blue Horizon,” that Edwards wrote “about our old friend John Denver. I felt like writing a sort of tribute, a remembrance of what he meant to all of us in terms of blazing a trail for guys with guitars. It’s an homage.”

And then there is a very old song, “How Long,” which Edwards wrote and recorded 25 years ago. “But it needed another verse. So that’s newly dusted off and shined up.”

Edwards’ buddy Rod McDonald contributed “Sailor’s Prayer,” a peon to a guy standing lonely watch at the helm of a boat crossing the Atlantic.

And then there’s a version of The Beatles’ “She Loves You,” completely rearranged with Paul Sullivan on piano.

Edwards intends to push this record hard, and hopes to partner with a record label to help with promotion and distribution. He’s not interested in a DIY project, and is willing to take his time to ensure doing it right.

“I want this to be really, really good,” he said. “It’s been so long. I don’t think anybody has higher expectations of it than me. I believe this record will make a lot more people aware of the fact that I am alive and thumping.” 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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